On February 24, 2020, Yoga Alliance (YA) will launch its new application system for 200 Hour Registered Yoga Schools (RYS). This means RYS’s will need to meet the new standards announced by YA last year.
We’ve been doing a series on the new standards including:
- Enhanced Lead Trainer Requirements: what they are and when you will need to have them by if you are a Lead Trainer or thinking of becoming a Lead Trainer of a Yoga Teacher Training,
- New Application Process, Educational Categories, and Core Competencies: All Registered Yoga Schools will require a new syllabus. Let’s look at the changes,
- What counts as Online Training? YA will allow up to 40 Hours of online training. But what counts as online training? (this article)
- Future Changes for YA Schools: What changes to expect in the future for 200 Hour Schools? What’s coming for 300 Hour RYS’s, Children’s Yoga, and Prenatal Yoga? (coming soon)
Online Learning for Yoga Schools
Under the new YA standards, schools may now offer up to 40 hours of online learning in a 200 Hour training.
There are so many wonderful online training courses, in our opinion, online learning is a welcome option to schools. But what will Yoga Alliance count as online learning?
We scoured the Yoga Alliance website and sent the customer service reps a long list of questions and got a good handle on what is involved in Online Learning.
Here’s what we found out about online learning:
Question: Do the new RYS 200 standards include contact and non-contact hours?
No. The updated RYS 200 standards no longer use the nomenclature of contact and non-contact hours. Rather, the new RYS 200 standards use the term classroom hours. All 200 required hours must be classroom hours.
The majority of these classroom hours must be taught in-person (a minimum of 160 hours) while up to 40 may be taught online (20 hours maximum in Anatomy & Physiology and 20 hours maximum in Yoga Humanities). Each of these categories requires 30 total classroom hours, so a minimum of 10 hours in each must be taught via in-person classroom hours.
Hours that trainees spend completing projects, writing reports, doing homework, and attending yoga classes are not included as classroom hours in the new RYS 200 standards. However, Yoga Alliance encourages RYSs to still include these components in their syllabi and curricula to reinforce the learnings of the overall program.
Question: What counts as Online learning?
Answer: Online Learning is when trainers and trainees are interacting using an online platform. Worksheets, readings, homework, and other types of activities that fall under non-contact in the current standards are not considered online classroom hours under the new standards!
Question: Does online learning have to be live or can it be pre-recorded?
Answer: Online instruction can be live-streamed, or it can be recorded and uploaded online. Podcasts are not considered online instruction. Offering online classroom hours is completely optional. If you would like to have all 200 classroom hours in-person, you’re welcome to do so!
Question: Can an anatomy test count as online learning?
Answer: No more than 20 of the 30 total required hours teaching competencies under Anatomy & Physiology can be online. The remaining 10 hours must be in-person classroom hours. Trainers can assess trainee competence within the 10 in-person classroom hours or assess the online training as part of the overall assessment model four Educational Categories and twelve competencies. The twelve Competencies are the 3 bold topics under each educational category.
Question: Can a live review of manuals (eg: relevant anatomy or Yoga Humanities) count as online training without a live guide count?
Answer: Yes! Online Learning can be live or pre-recorded.
Question: Can a trainer use a program like Zoom to share screen and review the Training manuals with a live guide and count?
Answer: Absolutely! Zoom is a fantastic tool that schools can use and keep the online learning portion interactive with their trainees.
Question: 150 hours have to be taught by the lead trainers, does online learning have to be taught by the lead trainer? If the 40 hours of online learning are taught by the Lead Trainers, can 50 hours of in-person learning be taught by people other than the lead trainer?
Answer: Great question! The online learning can be taught by your Lead Trainer(s), trainers, or Other Faculty. We do not require it only be taught by the LT(s). You may divide the 150 classroom hours among your LT(s) as you see fit (possibly some in person and some online instruction) and distribute the remaining 50 hours to your other trainers and staff. Because we have changed the language of contact and non-contact hours in our new standards there is more flexibility! All hours are now seen as classroom hours, and if your LT(s) end up teaching the full 40 hours online that means they would only need to teach an additional 110 hours in person.
Question: Can the 40 hours of online learning be taught by someone not registered with Yoga Alliance?
Answer: Yes of course! The person facilitating the online instruction just needs to be a qualified teacher, meaning they have a minimum of 2 years of experience with at least 500 hours of training in that specific topic. Many programs have teachers who specialize in anatomy but may not be registered with YA and will be able to make use of their expertise in their program. This allows trainees access to people with a lot of knowledge in specific topics.
Question: Can an RYS give a list of YouTube Videos pertaining to Anatomy or Yoga Humanities (eg: watching a talk by the Dalai Lama as Yoga Humanities or a Ted Talk by a leading scientist on the stress response as Anatomy) and have that count as Online Learning?
Answer: This should be allowed, however the RYS would need to explain the content of these videos for review; that description will be assessed rather than the video itself. We want to know how this information ties into the program as a whole and which competency is it covering.
Question: Can watching a recorded question and answer period about anatomy or yoga humanities topics count as online training?
Answer: This should be okay as well, just like with the other things though, we’ll need a description of the recording as well as how you’re assessing that the content was ‘absorbed’. You will also need to make sure the facilitator meets our “other faculty” requirements we mentioned above. The application will ask for a description of what is included in the course, proof that you have rights to use the course, how you’ll be assessing your students to verify what they learned, and how it relates to one of the core competencies
Question: Can an RYS record their live training and put it online to become their online learning?
Answer: Pre-recordings are allowed so this would be acceptable if it’s within the two eligible categories. We would advise you consider the trainees’ privacy before using those recordings in additional trainings or making it so that only the instructor and teaching tools (PowerPoint, demonstrations, etc) are visible.
Question: What is NOT Online learning? What might common misunderstandings be about online learning?
Answer: Any part of the training that takes place in-person would not be considered online learning. The most common misunderstanding about online learning is about homework and the terminology. Under the current standards we have “contact and non-contact hours”, and under the new standards, we’re moving away from that and calling everything “classroom hours” with the option of online content (or virtual classroom). In our current standards, non-contact hours could include homework assignments (written, reading a book, etc) whereas Online Learning refers strictly to content within the Teacher Training Program that is taken online.
Question: How is Yoga Alliance going to educate RYS’s about what is acceptable with Online learning?
Answer: This Online Learning platform is new to us as well and we are hoping to gather some data and feedback from schools as we transition into the new standards together. With the upcoming launch of our new application (Feb. 24, 2020), we are also providing RYSs additional resources which will have more information, definitions, and best practices for our New Standards including Online Learning.
Question: Why are anatomy and Yoga Humanities allowed and not the other categories? Why not allow the whole 200-hour training to be online learning?
Answer: A decision was made based on our “Standards Review Project Survey” where Yoga Professionals and Practitioners across the globe offered important input on this topic. Results indicated topics within a yoga curriculum do not easily lend themselves to an online setting. In fact, 76% of the participants asked if learning or practicing manual adjustments can be done online suggested this could not be learned in an online setting. Overall results from the study deemed our competencies across Yoga Humanities and Anatomy & Physiology are best suited for online learning.
If you have any other questions for me please feel free to reach out at any time. For any other specific questions about our New Standards and New Application, I recommend waiting until we launch the application on Feb. 24, 2020, when we have more information and resources available for our schools!